Chintan Pandya, chef and co-owner of New York City’s Newcomer Dhamaka, usually starting their day at the butcher, bringing their haul—in today’s case, goat’s neck, liver, kidney and testicles—back to the Lower East Side restaurant. “[In the U.S.] It becomes a very innovative product when using kidney, liver and testicles,” he says. “In India it is a part and parcel of it. [Here,] Many people want to do it, but they are afraid to do it. We are not afraid of anything, the fear of failure does not exist in our universe.”
Indian restaurant prides itself on taking chances even when it is a flop. Pandya says, “Actually we fail many times. “We keep trying new things and we keep on failing. But after many failures, you are right once. That’s why we keep in our minds that failure is part of the process.”
What started out as “failures” evolved into the restaurant’s best dishes, such as 16 layer goat neck biryani, a fragrant goat testicle and kidney gurda camphor, murgh kofta – soft-boiled eggs in a tender ball of minced chicken. A bright curry with – and more. Pandya and his staff also prefer to use as few animals as possible and leave less waste, such as the restaurant’s dohl kleh, or pig-face salad, in which the pig’s head (often left over) is pressure-cooked. is, grilled, and added to a bowl of chopped onion and herbs. It’s recipes that many, including Eater NY reviewer Ryan Sutton, call a blast. One of the most exciting new restaurants in town.
Many dishes at Dhamaka are served in the same pot in which they were cooked. Pressure cooker casseroles are made to order, and are served in individual sized pressure cookers only. Champaran mutton dish involves marinating the mutton meat in a small clay pot before adding the herbs, a whole garlic bulb, and cooking the whole pot, which is at your table. Serving food like this gives a feeling of explosion. Says Pandya, “In today’s time it is difficult to find something simple. “I think it’s a very honest product. It’s done with a lot of heart, and I think that’s what gets people excited.”